Berkeley English Faculty

Charles F. Altieri

Charles F. Altieri

Professor
Rachael Anderson Stageberg Endowed Chair

Wheeler Hall, room 332
Not teaching but available for office hours by appointment.
altieri@berkeley.edu
510 334 4244


Professional Statement

I have been primarily interested in the varieties of Twentieth Century American poetry, especially in relation to philosophy and to the visual arts. I also recently wrote a book on the affects and that shapes my thinking on most topics. But I am in transition. I have been teaching Shakespeare and Hegel and will teach the epic because I want a grand stage on which to figure out what I can say about affect in literature.I am also working on book introducing ways of thinking about modern American poetry.

My website.


Books
Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience
Reckoning with Imagination: Wittgenstein and the Aesthetics of Literary Experience

Reckoning with Imagination tries to recast basic Idealist claims about imagination and purposiveness in terms provided by Witt genstein’s showing the limits of what empiricist concerns for “truth values” in relation to the range of ways we deploy th....(read more)

Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity:  Toward a Phenomenology of Value
Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity: Toward a Phenomenology of Value

In his recent work, Charles Altieri has argued for the importance of the affects, which philosophy has too long subordinated to cognition and ethics.  In Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity, Altieri argues that critics have failed to apprec....(read more)

The Art of 20th Century American Poetry: Modernism and After
The Art of 20th Century American Poetry: Modernism and After

Altieri's book situates modernist poetry in the context of early 20th century scientific and philosophical developments, to posit the emergence of a "new realism" in the works of Pound and Williams. It then traces the fate of this movement from Elio....(read more)


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered
The Particulars of Rapture: An Aesthetics of the Affects. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003.

Painterly Abstraction in Modernist American Poetry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Postmodernism(s) Now. University Station: Penn State University Press, ca 1999.

Current Research

  I have just completed a large book about Modernist responses to materialisms.  I argue that new materialism is great for dealing with IMpressionist art, but that achievement also marks its limitations because the artists turn inward to states of self-consciousness that provide alternatives to what saw as the retinal commitments of impressionism.  Hegel on inner sensuousness becomes a major figure for thining about what self-consciousness can be in the working of art and poetry.  And with this help one can elaborate states of consciouness that do not fit well into current cognitivist work.

   I am beginning a project on how James on  radical empiricism and Bradley in Appearance and REality both see experience as prior to subjectivity.  this affords an alternative to Romantic poetics very attractive to Modernist poets.  I am asking what work can the concept of experience do for criticism and what are relevant forms of experience that fascinate the poets.

  i am also teaching  a course in Lyric poetry with some interest in writing on Jonathan Culler's book on that topic.


Recent English Courses Taught